Desert Storm – Omens

This May saw the release of the fifth album from UK metallers Desert Storm, a band which has continuously forged new aspects to their thunderous sound but reaped the most dramatic essences of their imagination yet for the compelling Omens.

Formed in late 2017, the Oxford hailing band has had us, like so many, persistently licking our lips at their releases. From debut album, Forked Tongue, through the seriously acclaimed Horizontal Life and Omniscient, and the just as welcomed Sentinels of 2018, Desert Storm has persistently breached new plateaus of enterprise and reputation which Omens stretches once again. The quintet’s sludge metal bred sound has nurtured a progressive adventure along the way which was especially fertile within the band’s previous full-length and now makes its successor one fascinating proposal and creative trespass.

Even with its immediate persuasion and striking presence, Omens only reveals greater rewards the longer spent within its perpetually evolving adventure. It challenges and seduces in equal measure; the band’s trademark ravenous riffs and colossal rhythms still a chest crushing trespass and melodic enterprise a searing web of craft and dexterity. Yet their progressive metal imagination is the source of pure captivation, every track an unpredictable and fertile exploration which enthrals as it ravages and where maybe the last album missed out, leaving a lingering imprint on ears and appetite.

Omens opens up with its title track, a spoken word introduction cast by vocalist Matt Ryan within dark atmospheric intimation. It is a portentous poetic lure, an embrace come accusation of darkness which erupts within the following Black Bile. Immediately a patient horde of riffs surround the senses, the cutting swings of drummer Elliot Cole splitting the air as the guitars of Ryan Cole and Chris White spread their esurient web of sound. Ryan’s familiar gruff tones command the air in between their sonic wires as the tenebrific grumble of Christian Benoist’s bass only adds further dark fuel to the temptation. There is also a mercurial breath to the track’s landscape, one which echoes the album’s body as a whole and only fascinates as the sounds it inspires.

It is a great and rousing full start to the release which Vengeful Gods adds to with its feral touch and anthemic stroll. It is a song which is sonically bitter and rhythmically antagonistic, riffs a rabid crawl over the senses yet its vocal union springs a chorus as inviting and rousing as any moment within the release. Again Ryan shares a new depth of diversity and imagination in his presence, a storyteller and protagonist of the sonic spite which erupts in equal measure.

Pain, Grief & Suffering is a beast of venom and grievance but also one glorious groove which immediately wound around the passions between the untamed expulsions of breath and sound, the track recalling the exploits within the band’s early albums but as richly fertile in the progressive and melodic imagination which has increasingly set them apart from the crowd. With the piano caresses of White adding to the tantalising drama, the song is an escalation of temptation while The Path of Most Resistance taking a less invasive journey provided a similarly riveting proposal. Truth be known, it too is a forceful trespasser at times but within a melody crafted landscape with almost shamanic tendencies at certain moments; the song forging itself as our favourite track.

Through the creative contrivance of yet almost bestial presence of The Machine, the band set another keenly devoured mark, riffs and grooves colluding in ravenous intent as bold adventure again steers the imagination in its unpredictable landscape with next up Lockjaw springing its own venomous grooved steeled and riff laded trap upon the senses to match the temptation of its predecessors; Cole and Benoist just as merciless yet manipulative in their invention.

The album concludes with Rebirth, a magnetic folk tinged ballad which took thought and attention away with its words and melodic charm to bring the adventure to a fine close. From start to finish, Omens had ears greedily attentive but certainly the last quartet of tracks had us drooling and alone declares Desert Storm’s latest encounter one no one should simply pass by.

Omens is out now via APF Records; available @ https://desertstorm.bandcamp.com/

http://www.desertstormband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk   https://twitter.com/desertstormuk

Pete RingMaster 02/06/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview

Transport League – A Million Volt Scream

The fifteen years since first leaving Lucifer’s fires has not dampened the roar in the heart and throat of Transport League or the voracious swing in their feral enterprise, nor indeed the ravenous virulence of a sound which is always preying on new hellish flavours. The proof is all there in the viscera of their new album, A Million Volt Scream: a release which lures, embraces, and devours the senses with the greatest ravening intent yet from the Swedish outfit so that never has the well-established term upon the band’s music, Boogie From Hell, been more apt.

Emerging in 1994 Transport League embraced the sound of early Clutch with as they say “some hints of Cathedral and Corrosion of Conformity.” Swiftly it established its own ever evolving character and by the 2013 release of fifth album, Boogie From Hell, was the fuel to that enduring moniker. Even as the band has continued to explore new shades and avenues it has remained fitting to that declaration as shown by A Million Volt Scream. It is an encounter bred from a ferocious cauldron of mutually heavy metal and rock with just as healthy and hungry essences of punk, sludge, and alternative trespasses; infernal rock ‘n’ roll if you would.

A Million Volt Scream wasted no time with subtle persuasion, warning sirens allowing a moment to run away before its title track opener stalks with eager rhythmic instincts. That alone proves gripping bait but once the band’s renowned rapacious grooves uncage their swing, entanglement is inescapable. The track hits its stride with a devilish swagger, the vocals of guitarist Tony Jelencovich a masterful scowl within the unappeasable contagion. Rich imagination only adds to the temptation, the track’s Pantera meets Rob Zombie like breath twisted and ignited with industrial lined apocalyptic proclamation.

1200 Goddamned follows, the rhythms of drummer Mattias Starander again a potent and insatiable coaxing before the song uncages its full belly of riffs and grooves, the exploits of Jelencovich  and lead guitarist Peter Hunyadi mercilessly infectious and invasive just as is the former’s great grungy tones. Even with its eager swing, there is a riveting predatory edge to the bass of Dennis Österdal, his lines threat and temptation together much as song and sound around them across the release.

Fair to say with ears and appetite already hooked both only found a lustier attention as next up Monster Human leered in and began stalking their ground. Its menacing bounce and mischievous sonic glints swiftly stole subservience, another Rob Zombie-esque swing this time merged with a Rammstein scented industrial intimidation only adding to the captivation before relief at the departure of its fiendishness is swiftly stolen by the dark deeds and drama of Dawn Of Lucifer. The band’s already multi-flavoured sound is stretched again as the track’s alternative metal breeding reveals the seed of bands similar to Faith No More, Dog Fashion Disco, and Mushroomhead though emerging as inimitable Transport League alchemy. Simply put though, as to be honest applying to all tracks within the album, it is inventively yet instinctively bred rabid rock ‘n’ roll and proved unapologetically irresistible.

Vultures is next up, the song immediately wrapping grooved sonic wires around the senses then manipulating them like a puppeteer to its own carnal swing. Carnivorous in every essence, viral with just as forceful a zeal, the track is another esurient stalking and a major contender for best track honours while Vanished Empire brings its own creative enmity to bear with dissonance carrying craft and again a strain of rabidity to offer its own imposing challenge.

Facedown Bondage might not quite have ignited the same heights of delirium but with its southern rock irritancy and contagion aligned to groove metal embroiled contention it too proved thick pleasure to breed greed for as too Slave In Orbit with its low slung stoner grooves and funk metal intimation. As with all tracks though, it is the perpetual current of imagination which adds the unpredictability and individuality that seals already done deals.

The final pair of Creature Grunts and Rabid Horizon leaves nothing to be desired as A Million Volt Scream departs as impressively as it began. The first is another song which sparks thoughts of Mike Patton and co at certain moments as it hungrily strolls, its severe catchiness spun with intoxicating grooves and rhythms which manage to simultaneously punish and seduce. The final track is basically a slab of untamed rock ‘n’ roll, a beast of intensity and motion which even the dearly departed could not prevent swinging their bones to.

Their sound is indeed boogie from the inferno below though such it’s and specifically the inescapable temptation of A Million Volt Scream it is hard to tell if Transport League work for the Devil or he dances to their tune.

A Million Volt Scream is out now via Mighty Music; available @ http://targetshop.dk/transport-league and https://targetgroup.bandcamp.com/album/a-million-volt-scream-2

 https://www.facebook.com/transportleague/

Pete RingMaster 090/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Morass Of Molasses – The Ties That Bind

Infestations come in many kinds and shapes but few if any are as fascinating and compelling as the sound of UK heavy rockers Morass Of Molasses. It is a proposition which devours the senses whilst ensnaring the imagination, a beast of sonic invasion and melodic seduction which has never been more vital than within the band’s new album, The Ties That Bind.

The Reading hailing trio’s second album is simply a feast of rousing sounds and beguiling imagination; an encounter which reeks of unpredictability and revels in the surprises that offers even as one having a close ear on all to escape the creative cavern of vocalist/ Baritone guitarist Bones Huse since his days as part of the also seriously magnetic Karn8. A whole different proposition though it was on record and before us as we stood grooving to that earlier outfit at a Guildford gig, the seeds to the heavy blues might and weight of the 2013 formed Morass Of Molasses could be heard in many ways being sown.

It is fair to say that the first two tracks unleashed by the band soon after it’s rising up from the thick southern swamps of the UK left the senses caked in dirt and rancor, a trespass so easy to devour and by so many. Soon the band was laying their tar thick sounds, lumbering riffs, and viscous grooves down alongside the likes of Crowbar, Orange Goblin, Ohhms, Vodun, Elephant Tree, Desert Storm, Mammoth Weed and many more, the sonically infesting of the Jaegermeister stage at Bloodstock Festival with their acclaim gathering sound another spark to opportunities for relentless touring and sharing stages with such bands. The release of the So Flows Our Fate EP in 2015 simply sealed the deal though it was soon seriously eclipsed by debut album, These Paths We Tread two years later as the evolution of their sound flourished.

Now that striking release has been simply outshone by its successor, The Ties That Bind a tantalising kaleidoscope of textures and imagination as heavy and ravenous as an avalanche, as melodically syrupy as the outcome of the event which inspired the band’s name, and simply imaginatively mesmeric and creatively unforeseeable. The album rises up through The Darkening, its initial quiet on the side of portentous even as an elegant melody lights its path. Its brief but alluring invitation springs into the following Woe Betide, predacious riffs and swinging rhythms colluding with beacon like grooves. The band’s sound embraces everything from blues, occult, and stoner rock to sludge and doom metal with much more in the flavouring as relished by the second track. With Bones’ distinctive tones roaring, the guitar of Phil Williams weaves, his melodic wires wrapping the track as the rhythms of drummer Raj Puni incite and impose. Continually lighting up fresh shadows and unveiling new levels of enterprise, the song just captivated, its calms sheer seduction and eruptions rousing invasions all crafted and delivered with inescapable almost devious enterprise.

Similarly Death of All invades every welcoming aspect of ears and appetite, its feral rock ‘n’ roll  pouncing on the listener straight away as blues bred enticement and fiery funk grooves leads to infectious alternative rock bordering detours. Like a salacious fusion of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iggy Pop, and Black Tusk, the track is superb but mistake us not all uniquely Morass Of Molasses.

The fires within the song are white hot smouldering in next up Estranger, the song a seductress expressing intimate thoughts as the album continues to explore themes of human connection, delving “into the deep-rooted interactions we share with each other and ourselves” via the Dark Forest motif which shapes every spark of album and songs. Every groove within the track swerves around with voluptuous temptation, Huse’s vocals backed by those of Puni, carrying a gentle swing whilst entangled in the enthralling threads woven by Williams’ guitar. As its predecessors, the song just gripped ears and imagination, new depths and invention oozing from every passing minute.

The pastoral calms of Legend Of The Five Sons beguile just as readily next, the radiant serenade keenly bewitching across its melodic beauty. Featuring the graceful tones of Sian Greenaway of doom rockers Alunah and the flute prowess of Matt Ainsworth, the song caressed the senses like a lover before As Leaves Fall builds on its folkish hues with shamanic rhythms and melodic intimation; darker shadows brewing in its own particular enchantment and exploding in the ravenous jaws of Persona Non Grata. It is a pyre of roasted grooves and manipulative rhythms scalded further by caustic riffs and vocal scowling. Again it proved so easy to greedily devour and with increasing hunger, the almost crust punk whiff which occasionally arises and especially its cosmopolitan hues delicious spicing.

The album is completed by In Our Sacred Skin and The Deepest Roots, the first an earthy assault of sound as unapologetically caustic as it is hungrily tempting which only evolves with every passing note before returning to its cycles but twisting them around with fresh adventure so expectations can never feed and the imagination can be greedy; traits the whole of The Ties That Bind embraces. The final track sees Huse and Greenaway dueting, a spellbinding union which just lights up the air as William’s guitar strolls beside them; a darker climate looming in all the while to add to the captivation and drama.

It is a glorious end to quite simply the finest moment of Morass Of Molasses by far even given the might of those before it. The band is one of the UK’s truly unique and striking propositions and through the sensational The Ties That Bind they should get the recognition, attention, and success they both deserve.

The Ties That Bind is out now via Wasted State Records; available @ https://morassofmolasses.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MorassOfMolasses

Pete RingMaster 04/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Naisian – Rejoinder

The Rejoinder EP is the first release from UK metallers Naisian after a five year hiatus; three imposing tracks which make up for ‘lost’ time with senses devouring ferocity amidst an imagination gripping trespass of sound and enterprise which only leave you wanting more.

Emerging over a decade ago, Sheffield’s Naisian went on that hiatus in 2012. Its quartet of members spent subsequent years touring and playing with their respective bands in Awooga, Air Force Chron, and pjaro as well as working other projects before reuniting as Naisian late 2017. A fair time in the making, Rejoinder sees the band’s sludge bred metal hungrier and arguably even more voracious than ever. Mastered by James Plotkin (Sunn O))), Cave In, Botch), the EP assaults, bullies, and entices with voracity in its touch and creative instincts. It may only be three songs but by its close, ears and senses feel like they have been ten rounds with a bear.

Opening track is 90ft. Stone and immediately it gnaws on the listener with predacious riffs as sonic tendrils sear their temptation into already tender senses. As quickly grooves from the guitars of James Borrowdale and Adam Zejma entangle the unrelenting threat of sound, the latter’s vocals a caustic animosity in the rapacious mix enticingly backed by the tones of Borrowdale and bassist Michael Aitken. Nuances and slight twists ignite across the incessant flow of heavy sound, sonic flickers and feral enterprise adding to and accentuating the crushing aggression.

The following Mantis Rising rises on a sonic spiral to quickly establish its own primitive but skilfully nurtured trespass. As within the first, the swinging beats of Jordan Garlic bite and resonate as they incite; ravenous grooves winding around the rhythmic animus with toxic yet infectious appeal. As vocals collude in their antagonism, the track twists and turns through contagion and malice; each moment magnetic, every move enjoyably voracious before the brief but thrilling encounter abruptly departs to allow Lefole to swing in. Featuring the scar throated vocals of Mike Shields (ninehertz and formerly of doomers Flatlands), the track swiftly got under the skin with its contagious air and tenacious exploits. Post punk like vines of guitar tease and taunt from within the song’s composed but still predatory climate; melody and atmosphere a tantalising intimation within the doom nurtured exploration. The track is superb, at times finding Killing Joke like hues to accentuate its voice and captivation.

Taking months to create and bring the EP’s short body of undoubted magnificence, we maybe cannot expect a bigger offering from Naisian for a while but whenever it appears anticipation will be immense simply because of Rejoinder alone.

The Rejoinder EP is out now, available @ https://naisian.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/naisiansheff/

 Pete RingMaster 17/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Desert Storm – Sentinels

Can it really be around four years since British groove monsters Desert Storm unleashed their critically-acclaimed Omniscient? It is undoubtedly true that time flies when you are having fun, the release still stirring our attention amongst the horde of new encounters submitted to us. Now the band has uncaged its successor in the bold shape of Sentinels; a dark tempest of a proposal which confirms the Oxford based sludgers as one of metal’s most compelling propositions.

Desert Storm has never been slow in pushing evolution in their sound but Sentinels marks their biggest step yet without losing the band’s trademark ear pleasing individual sound and character. Being ravenously heavy is one of their accomplished traits yet the new album manages to be a leviathan in that hue, almost oppressive at times in tandem with their darkest most tempestuousness creativity yet. Equally though, their imagination is at its most liveliest to date conjuring melodic intimation and mercurial adventures with magnetic prowess. It is fair to say that Sentinels did not quite bowl us over as immediately as the likes of predecessors Horizontal Life and Omniscient but there was no escaping its relentless persuasion and eventual captivation or the feeling that it is a compelling new step in the evolution and journey to even greater adventures with the band ahead.

The album immediately exposes its ferocity and the senses as opener Journey’s End roars into life, the distinctive snarling tones of vocalist Matt Ryan driving the skilful discord as riffs and rhythms gnaw away. Concussive yet carrying purposeful restraint, the song eventfully calms as a tantalising groove spirals through its breath, it leading ears into a waiting tempest of emotion and sound sculpted by the intimation cast by guitarists Chris White and Ryan Cole. Already there is something new and fresh about the band’s music, a sense of new adventure and exploration creating a web of contrasting textures and intensities shaping a song that made a potent first impression and only blossomed thereon in, much as the album over time.

The following Too Far Gone is swiftly into its sonic trespass, guitars again a searing intrusion and rousing incitement alongside the lumbering but tenacious beats of Elliot Cole and the dark hearted drawl of Chris Benoist’s bassline. A track tackling excessive binge drinking; a ”paradox of hard liquor being both the cause and the remedy of the sickness” according to Ryan partly inspired by the tragic tales of Bon Scott and John Bonham, it prowls and infests ears with a predatory but addictive quality taking the listener through alcoholism into death. As dark and menacing as it is, there is a certain catchiness which infests before The Brawl unleashes a tide of magnetic grooves and rapacious rhythms in the acclaimed Desert Storm manner. Emulating the title, Ryan entangles ears with his familiar ursine tones, guitars teasing with melodic fingering within the sonic winds. Its blues lining only adds to the temptation on offer, the song more expected Desert Storm rock ‘n’ roll but again with a keen fresh breath to its holler.

The melodic beckoning bringing Kingdom Of Horns into view is pure magnetism, its beauty bright yet melancholic and soon blessed with the harmonics of clean vocals as sonic winds contemplate their involvement. It is arguably the best moment within Sentinels, certainly a favourite passage which eventually breeds a raw and burly stroll still draped in melodic elegance and imagination. The song is superb, captivation at every turn and if a clue of things to come maybe the moment in hindsight the Desert Storm sound came of age which tells you it’s magnificence after all the goodness since the band emerged back in 2007.

There is a familiar classic metal lining to next up Gearhead and similarly that Desert Storm character which never takes much to tempt, the song jabbing and imposing its enjoyable personality before Drifter binds the listener in spicily searing grooves and rhythmic tenacity to incite and inspire physical and vocal participation. It too is prime Desert Storm so easy to devour for fans and heavy rockers alike as too successor The Extrovert, a bruising but magnetically grouchy stomp of riff and grooves with a matching aggressive rhythmic swagger and vocal drama. Cole simply controls the body from start to finish, his rousing beats commanding song and listener with devious prowess as the track gets under the skin.

The colder atmospherics and dark corners of Convulsion immerse and seduce next; the track looming up from its stark beginnings with an oppressive lumber and tenebrific air. That heavy suffocation though is the breeding ground for an eruption of pure metal virulence, grooves and hooks worming under the skin before new waves of heavy predation flow over the lusty enterprise. It never quite extinguishes their zeal though, instead embracing their spirit before Cole leads another highly persuasive surge of rhythmic and sonic boisterousness which teases and taunts from there on as another particular highlight of Sentinels is laid down.

The album concludes with firstly the melodic croon of Capsized, another song which almost deceitfully intoxicates, seducing almost straight away if not obviously until away from the album. Its melancholic calms have a volatility which erupt further on, settling down as the process repeats with increasing magnetism in just one more highly powerful and magnetic moment. It is left for the as good as three minutes of Outro (Thought Police) to complete the album, its stoner scented grooves and sludge thick examination providing a rich and provocative finale but one which feels like it is leaving unfinished business to take up and explore ahead.

As suggested, though Sentinels made for a highly enjoyable listen it did not make the same kind of immediate striking impression as its predecessors. It made up for it though with its thought provoking enterprise and an imagination driven creative tapestry, becoming more captivating by the listen as well as hinting that there is even bigger exciting times to come with Desert Storm.

Sentinels is available now through APF Records @ https://desertstorm.bandcamp.com/ and http://apfrecords.bigcartel.com/

http://www.desertstormband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk    https://twitter.com/desertstormuk

Pete RingMaster 24/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Gutlocker – Cry Havoc!

It is a release which has no qualms in punishing the senses and venomously attacking the psyche with its irritable and grievous intent; an encounter seemingly hell bent on leaving charred remains behind in its vicious sonic wake but it is hard to return that enmity when every twisted trespass and grievous throe inflicted leaves you hungry for more. The perpetrator of that creative animosity is the Cry Havoc! EP from UK sludge punks Gutlocker, a quartet of visceral noise and groove breeders which you may fear liking but find no other option available.

Born and bred in darkest Woking, Gutlocker emerged in 2012 inspired by the likes of Pantera, Mastodon, and Lamb of God and have since gone on to share stages with the likes of Trepalium, Evil Scarecrow, and Raging Speedhorn among others and made a reputation enhancing appearance at Download. We will be honest, Cry Havoc! is our long overdue introduction to the quartet of vocalist Craig McBrearty, guitarist Peter Tucker, bassist Ben Rollinson, and drummer Dean Walker but possibly the perfect moment to be infested by their sonic animus.

The release opens up with Bitter Memory and immediately devours the senses with predacious riffs, merciless rhythms, and the vocal individuality of McBrearty. His rancorous tones twist and squirm by the syllable, a trespass as magnetic as the tempest of sludge metal bred sound around him. Grooves invade and beats rupture as the track parades its grudge carrying enterprise, a raw irritation spawn incitement which crawls deeper under the skin by the minute with its multi-flavoured sonic antipathy.

The great start evolves into the equally violent and compelling No Burden, a matching cauldron of hellacious noise and emotions cast in its own individual likeness. As in the first, there is a great hardcore insurgency lurking in the lining of the track’s prowl and adding to both the songs’ continued blossoming listen by listen.  Unpredictability similarly adds to their prowess in music and voice if not to the same heights of our favourite track within Cry Havoc!

Stuck is simply superb, a web of creative deception and ingenuity never going where it suggests or expectations assume. Straight away it is weaving with cunning devilry and with vendetta in its veins, swaying away like a Pantera coaxed cobra as McBrearty spills his bad blooded venom. Captivating in seconds, addictive soon after, the track just outdoes itself minute by minute as guitars and bass collude in predacious imagination, its pinnacle coming as a bass and drum swagger ignites a manipulative noise rock discordance as fully catchy as it is unexpected.

As great as the other three are, the track steals the show but not before being worried by closing encounter, Welcome to Fucktown. As those before, it stalks and crawls over the senses sharing rancorous breaths and malignant invention matched in kind by the vocals. There is tension in every note and second, malice too especially oozing from McBrearty’s throat and heart, it all going to make the final song one fearsome but captivating incursion.

Uniqueness is still a relatively rare find within modern music but Gutlocker have a good handle on it already and are on the path to making it a key weapon.

Cry Havoc! is available now through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/gutlockeruk

Pete RingMaster 24/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Bendal Interlude – Reign of the Unblinking Eye

bendalInterlude_RingMasterReview

Attempting to build on the reputation and acclaim earned through their previous clutch of EPs, British metallers The Bendal Interlude unleash their debut album; a cauldron of sludge, stoner, and blues with psych and thrash metal to sear and ignite the senses. The release is a beast of a proposition; an attention grabber reinforcing and pushing the already firm stature of the Liverpool quartet but maybe one not quite seeing the band going far enough with the new bold elements of flavour and imagination to steer them away from similarly designed offerings over recent times. Nevertheless Reign of the Unblinking Eye is a fiercely enticing and enjoyably rousing slab of predacious riffs, salacious grooves, and thumping rhythmic aggression.

Drawing on inspirations from bands such as Melvins, Crowbar, and Cathedral, The Bendal Interlude have increasingly drawn fans and attention through a quartet of releases, starting with an early Demo followed by the Foal Recordings EP in 2010, a Self-Titled EP the following year, and the Odourama EP in 2013, as well as a ferocious live presence which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Sunn O))), Earth, Orange Goblin, COC, Church of Misery, Red Fang and more. They have also made highly successful appearances at festivals like Hammerfest, Sonisphere, and Desertfest to persistently lure keen spotlights to their emergence.

For Reign of the Unblinking Eye, The Bendal Interlude took a new tact in its creation; guitarist Stu Taylor explaining recently, “We took a shift in direction when writing for the album Reign of The Unblinking Eye. The songs are much more elaborate and have a lot more going on sound-wise than previous releases. We played with time signatures, guitar harmonies, key changes, even laying down a 10-part resonator guitar part. It is by far the heaviest but also most dynamic thing we’ve written to date.” His words are quickly backed up by the album and a collection of songs which in contrast to the “abstract collection of ideas and imagery based around loose themes” which coloured previous releases, lyrically carry a more “autobiographical approach”.

art_RingMasterReviewBuckfast For Breakfast opens the album, an easily relatable repetitive vocal sample the spark to a wall of cantankerous riffs and rapier like rhythms. It is a senses trespassing confrontation, swiftly bound and veined by wiry grooves with richly engaging toxicity to their wandering sonic hands. The raw vocal squalling of Nat Gavin adds to the intrusive hostility tempering the melodic flirtation and the instinctive swing to the track’s stalking gait. It is an ear gripping start firmly backed by the blues intoxication and fiery rock ‘n’ roll of Losing Things. With Gavin’s caustic delivery, tracks are inevitably going to challenge with attitude loaded animosity yet as proven here, The Bendal Interlude merge it skilfully with a melodic/stoner prowess and addictive sonic contagion which gives every assault a captivating and inviting personality.

Next up is The Unblinking Eye and its initial electronically atmospheric suggestiveness which the track evolves into its own individual stomp of classic/groove metal fuelled ferociousness. It recruits body and imagination with consummate ease, the virulence of the grooves and infectious swing and lead hook of the track swiftly installing it as a major highlight within the album. The Bendal Interlude are rocking like a beast on heat in song and album, sparking similar reactions in the instincts and spirit of the listener.

Efram’s Hands provides a brooding groove entangled landscape of ravenous shadows and barbarous energy straight after whilst Pint of Bodies grumbles and rumbles with sonic and rhythmic rabidity whilst infusing a scent of enterprise not too removed from glam rock. Subsequently descending on the senses with a Down meets Cathedral like animosity before shifting again into an evocative melodic calm, it and its predecessor both whip up more greed for the album’s trespass before Creeks Gigantic prowls in with a thunderous rhythmic swagger led by the bass groove of Tommy Lloyd quickly matched by the resourceful craft and adventure of Taylors’ invention on guitar strings. Given further incendiary bite by the spiky beats of Dave Archer, the track is an imposingly catchy and intrusive weave of contrasting and dynamic textures finding kinship in the tracks’ vocal irritability and tempestuous air.

Anthemic and tenaciously delivered rhythms again lead an addictive and predictably groove infested persuasion as Triumph of Fortitudo steps in with bruising intensity and Cancer Bats like punk lined antagonism before stepping aside for the more merciful but equally commanding rock ‘n roll of The Block. Drama fuels every crawling riff and the doom coated breath which soaks a track layered with acidic grooving and vocal rancor. Maybe not as striking on personal tastes as other tracks within Reign of the Unblinking Eye, it still leaves satisfaction full; success sought and easily found by the closing emotional and creative animus of R.I.P.  An at times corrosive venture through varied styles and flavours within a core heavy rock storm, the song is a fascinating and increasingly impressing end to a similarly impacting release.

As suggested earlier, The Bendal Interlude could have dared to push their imagination even further but every play of Reign of the Unblinking Eye certainly reveals new twists within the all-consuming invasion of sound. Time and attention only benefits an appreciation of an instantly pleasing album which has the psyche and passions enslaved by crucial grooves in no time; a success no one can avoid or dismiss.

Reign of the Unblinking Eye is out now via Black Bow Records @ http://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/product/the-bendal-interlude-the-reign-of-the-unblinking-eye

https://www.facebook.com/THEBENDALINTERLUDE   http://thebendalinterlude.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 01/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Shitshifter – Intruders

cover_RingMaster Review

Shitshifter’s sound is a blizzard of raw emotion, vicious intensity, and a rage as primal as the dirt at the centre of the earth. It also breeds a bewilderingly contagious energy and incitement aligned to persistently fascinating and unpredictable imagination. It is devastating aural liquor that ensures the German band’s album Intruders is one hellacious and invigorating proposal. This is a release and artist which certainly is not for the faint-hearted or for those needing a safety net with their music. For all who have an appetite to bleed from the ears, delve into toxic emotions, and go places which the Geneva Convention would like to cover if it could, Intruders has the attributes to be a punishing revelation.

It maybe should be no surprise that Intruders is as vicious and compelling as it is with its founders other projects including I Am the Bayonet, Hungry Lungs, Twinesuns, and Nvrvd; bands which have offered plenty of brutally creative treats, the last two in very recent times. The trio of drummer Tobias, bassist/vocalist Stefan, and guitarist Christian, formed Bielefeld based Shitshifter in 2012, fusing the fiercest, most inhospitable strains of death and sludge metal with hardcore viciousness bred on raw crust/d-beat causticity. It is a mix which is unafraid to dip into varied flavours and inventive detours at times, but primarily is cultured to corrupt the soul with pestilential enterprise whilst lyrically tearing into religion.

Worth It and invasive smog of sonic confrontation is the album’s first touch, this soon joined by heavy footed, predatory rhythms alongside the rasping venom of Stefan’s vocals. From here on in, music and voice spew toxicity with every note and throat searing squall, never relenting even as the carnivorous and scarring tones of bass pace sludgy tendrils of guitar, their union creating a barbarously addictive swagger as the senses are scorched by the tempest of intensity and sound. The track’s gripping qualities continue with Kings And Queens, the second song evolving from the final sonic intrusion of its predecessor into just over a minute of even more corrosive and gripping enmity. There is no mercy given or wanted as guitars vein the track like lava and rhythms somehow craft an anthemic nature to the mass onslaught.

Again one scourge of sound and invention slips into another as The Demagogue takes over, the track almost skipping into ears and psyche before unleashing a cancerous cacophony of sound and intent equally as barbaric and skilfully addictive as offered as the last song, though with again no breath allowed between, it gets outgunned and shone by its successor. Far From Eye, Far From Heart stalks air and listener with a rapacious glint in its creative eye and a doom pungent atmosphere which grudgingly drips onto a melancholy soaked canvas. The harrowing but elegant landscape has its own moment to provoke and inspire the imagination too as the hordes of sonic hostility holds back for a passage of haunting calm before they converge on ears again with arguably more restraint but greater threat.

For once there is a break, a couple of seconds of nothing between songs before the outstanding Loyal Dog brings its predation into view with a punk inspired prowl and cold post punk toning to the melodies dripping from the guitar of Christian. Stefan’s bass is simply carnal in tone and touch, tempering the chilling but inviting embrace initially offered though by half way that too is spilling rancor and insatiable ferocity. The track epitomises the Shitshifter sound, its merciless intensity and creative gall but also the always present adventure of invention and styles woven into the excruciating storms if they are at times overwhelmed by the fury.

Igod is another minute plus tirade of sound and ire, and another violation easy to get addicted to whilst Nothing In Common in similar form and barbarity just pummels existing wounds with its metal framed emotional bedlam and bitter hardcore contempt. The pair forcibly light ears and appetite before the closing ShitShepherd ensures the union of band and listener ends with a lingering trespass physically and emotionally, and arguably the album’s pinnacle, though many tracks have a case to claim that.

Song and album just hit and violate the sweet spot, though obviously Intruders or Shitshifter will not be for everyone, with you can imagine many barely lasting a couple of minutes of torment, but if filth infested hardcore/death metal crossovers or indeed the band’s other projects, though openly different, are for you, then bliss could be in the volatile air.

The self-released Intruders is out now.

RingMaster 19/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

William English – Basic Human Error

w.english_RingMaster Review

The most intimidating and thrilling cauldrons of hostility are those which spit and burn even before you get dirty and scorched within their blistering ferocity, and so it is with Basic Human Error, the debut album from UK noise violators William English. It is a release which singes flesh from ears and boils the senses from its first breath alone, only impacting and thrilling with harsher and richer intensity once you actually delve into the depths of the seven ravishments. The Norfolk quintet lit a fuse in the passions with their first single from the album Bud Vessel a couple of months ago, but hindsight shows its triumph barely scratched the surface of the wonderfully hellacious Basic Human Error

The William English sound is a prowling rabidity of doom enriched, tar thick sludge which is just as open and voracious with heavy strains of hardcore, noise, and dark metal. It makes for a menacing and uncompromising proposition yet one with an array of virulent toxic grooves and rapier like rhythms aligned to slithers of invention embroiled in anything from punk to noise to post punk. It is an invigorating and punishingly exhausting consumption of body and psyche, which only gets fiercer and more scintillating with every listen.

Cover_RingMaster Review   It is Bud Vessel which lights the touch paper to the album, its two minutes plus of vicious addictiveness an instant onslaught of barbed hooks and spicy grooves encased in fuzz soaked, snarling causticity. With mercilessly stabbing beats from drummer Joe Woodbury in the driver’s seat, the track careers through ears with the squalling hardcore tones of vocalist Shane Miller an acidic burn in the hostile and contagious smog of the song. Stoner seeded grooves spring their bait throughout too, everything colluding to ignite ears and emotions in a blaze of cancerous temptation.

The opener is as much a punk roar as anything else and quickly contrasted yet emulated in many ways by Life Of A Fisherman. The song is a slowly invading protagonist, a crawling and persistently expanding threat initially which once settled kicks up a gear and unveils a masterful swagger rich with ravenous and inviting grooves around a volatile nest of barbarous rhythms. Spilling sonic ire and addictive lures with every passing minute of the track’s weighty length, guitarists Ryan Carter and Dave Vickers sear and ignite the senses and imagination respectively, their hostile invention, as across the whole band, forceful and riveting whether slowly trespassing through or raging with tsunami effect at the listener.

The epic assault finally makes way for a just as intensive examination from Seaweed, a track venomously lapping ears with steady persistence, and as the last, creating moments of sheer violence. The bass of Callum Gibb is a predatory stalker within the crushing weight and intensity of the song whilst vocally Miller uncages his full punk spite and expression, especially devouring the air with an effect covered might when the song slips into a cavernous, post punk spiced, doom soaked passage of insidious calm. The torrent of rugged riffs and rhythms provide a constantly evolving and nagging proposal but as other aspects around them are regularly unafraid to switch gait and hostility as the ever gripping drama of the grooves persist in their addictive tenacity.

     Captain Tugboat unleashes its own distinct violation next, bringing extra tang and ingenious unpredictability to a fury of hooks and toxic grooves in a presence which embroils torment and rage in one corrosive and once again irresistible animus of sound and emotion. As the album, at times the track sparks thoughts of bands like Eyehategod and Buzzov*en but equally of others like Coilguns, KEN mode, and Neurosis; raw whiffs just as suggestive in the following Grandpa Sorrow Pt. 1, another taking such elements and sculpting them into something solitary and predacious to William English. The track stalks the senses with a laboured but hungry intent from start to finish, eventually dissipating for A Monger to cast its individual sonic coaxing and bracing creative hostility. There is no escaping its slow encroachment and the subsequent raptorial explosions breeding mouth-watering savagery, nor the spellbinding effect of its unbridled barbarity in tone and sonic enterprise. Bass and the song’s truculent atmosphere provide a bestial embrace, the vocals an ever shifting in delivery and belligerence throughout whilst the guitars emerge carnivorous in invention and enthralling in craft for another viscous treat.

The album closes with the eleven minute sonic opus of Grandpa Sorrow Pt. 2, a full journey in its own right exploring every flavour and inventive corner within the William English invention, ability, and sound. It is as dramatically appealing and darkly ruinous as the world we live in, every passing second and twist a creative cacophony of raw seduction and jaundiced attitude shaped by fearsome tapestries of viscid sludge spawned ingenuity.

The track is a tremendous end to a thrilling first album from William English. Basic Human Error is sure to be an encounter seeing many fleeing for the hills in fear but similarly one to breed plenty of lustful hunger and stalker like attention for its creators. We are the latter and suspect we will be heftily joined in that club over the coming weeks.

Basic Human Error is available now via Grandad Records @ https://williamenglishband.bandcamp.com/

and http://grandadrecords.bigcartel.com/product/basic-human-error-william-english

https://www.facebook.com/WilliamEnglishBand/

RingMaster 01/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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